“I Cried, But I Did Not Quit”

by A_F_R_O_W


I cried,

but I did not quit.

When ravenous racism,

raged at my Blackness,

I did not spit back.

When playground “games”

insisted that

I wear cardigans,

atop my head,

to mimic straightened hair,

I could have cried,

but did not dare,

for fear, of sitting out.

Not, fitting in,

was not an option.

Joining in,

I could not

live without.


left me broken-hearted.

No-one chose me.

I was “too dark” .


before romance had started…

which set up a trend…

Totally rejected,

from beginning,

to the end

of my scholastic journey.


Mum said this, to me…

“That’s not what

your education’s for!

It’s not about looks!

Now, walk tall, like I taught you!

Take your brain,

your books,

your words,

and use them,

to burst through

segregation’s door!”

Her, ever eloquent, encouragement,

was Heaven-sent and timely.

So, that’s what I did.

Kept aiming high.

Began to think

my skin

was welcomed in…

at every level…

But, how wrong was I.


finding my surroundings

less diverse…

I grew stronger.

Felt no compulsion,

to rehearse responses,

in the face of questioning,

as to my presence,

at events,

billed as,


As the meaning,

reached new depths…

rather than, reclusive,

I grew,


I mean,

how long and, just,

how far,

would people go,

in vain attempts, to mute my sound?

How much harder,

would I have to try?

Why was there a need

for me to justify

my breathing, of the same air?

Why does

a raised brow of the eye,

still remain there,

whenever I express opinion?

Why shouldn’t I pronounce

my thoughts,

with clarity of diction?

Why must I be classified,

Exotic. From the village.”

What does that, even, mean?!

What does that provide?

I. Am. A. Londoner.

Black. Afro-Caribbean. British.

Outside and inside.

Born here.

I won’t hide my light.


what makes you think

you have the right

to steal the bread

out of my basket of

pre-destined opportunities?

Are. You. For. Real?!!!

What makes you feel

that you can shout the odds,

behind my back,

when I have read my paper,

drunk a pint,

in peace…

and head to the ladies’,

for release?

When will your cowardice cease?

At least,

address your disease,

to my face.

If not,

pipe down!

I think you’ll find,

I’m staying.

Going somewhere,

fuelled by

Joy and Blessings,

known as,


You may hate me.


I will be in Love

I shall abide,

in humblest Gratitude,

for whom God has made me..

A message,

to the mess of prejudice,

who cannot be dismissed

nor, displaced



work of art..

A credit,

to His Hallowed

Human Race.



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